This rainbow trout recipe is grilled to perfection and takes less than 8 minutes to make! Learn how to grill fillets or the whole trout for a healthy and delicious dinner idea!
Move over, salmon: other fish can be added to the grill, like a fillet of grilled trout.
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What is Rainbow trout?
Rainbow trout is a delicate fish with either white, red, or orange flesh (no, it is not multicolored as the name suggests!). The flavor is mild, with a subtle nutty flavor. It’s a fantastic seafood to introduce to kids or those who are skeptical of seafood, thanks to its soft and flaky texture.
The best part about rainbow trout is that it’s easy to find and comes in fillets or as an entire fish! Here are some reasons why I love this recipe:
- Quick and easy. From prep to plate, this fish cooks up in less than 10 minutes.
- Super versatile. I like to keep the seasonings simple (salt and pepper) but like grilled red snapper, it’s a blank canvas.
- Healthy. Like most dish, trout is full of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and it’s also low-carb and gluten-free.
- Multiple cooking options. I find grilling the best way to cook trout, but I’ve also included tips on how to air fry or bake this fish.
This healthy grilled rainbow trout is very basic: all you need is either fillets or a whole fish and a few spices and you are done. Here is what you’ll need:
- Trout. Choose skinless and boneless fillets, which are easier to cook and absorb more flavor. I like to get my trout from the fishmonger as it’s typically much more fresh than a grocery store.
- Olive oil and butter. Both fats are used to grill and to add flavor.
- Lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice is preferred, but I find the bottled kind just as good.
- Garlic. Please use freshly minced garlic as it makes all the difference.
- Kosher salt and black pepper. To taste.
- Seasonings. This is all completely optional, but trout takes on pretty much any flavor combo. Try oregano, paprika, garlic powder, fresh dill, Rosemary, or any other fresh herbs.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How to grill trout
Step 1- Season. Start by pat drying the fish fillets with a paper towel before sprinkling salt and pepper and rubbing lemon juice on both sides.
Step 2- Grill. Next, add the oil to a grill or skillet and cook the fish for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through. Add the butter, parsley, and garlic at the end.
Step 3- Serve. Finally, serve the freshly grilled fish with pan juices over the top.
How to serve rainbow trout
The beauty of this grilled fish is that it is so perfect to pair with tons of sides or options. Here are several ways we like to serve grilled rainbow trout:
- With a dipping sauce like cheese sauce, ranch dressing, alfredo sauce, or potsticker sauce.
- Over a bed of mashed cauliflower, cauliflower rice, or curry fried rice.
- With a salad like spinach salad, coleslaw, couscous salad, or cauliflower potato salad.
- With vegetables like roasted cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, air fryer zucchini, or broccoli.
Alternative cooking methods
As I mentioned above, I’ve tested this recipe in the air fryer and also the oven so you can bake/air fry if you prefer.
To air fry: Grease an air fryer basket and add a single layer of the trout in it. Air fry at 200C/400F for 8 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through (see my air fryer tilapia for tips on flipping fish seamlessly).
To bake: Similar to baked haddock, place the seasoned trout on a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180C/350F for 17-20 minutes.
To store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to three days.
To freeze: Place the grilled and cooled fish in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to two months.
Reheating: Microwave the fish for 30-40 seconds or reheat in a non-stick pan until crispy.
Frequently asked questions
It’s unnecessary to remove the trout skin before cooking it. The skin has its own flavor and makes the fish crispy once cooked. Remove fish scales if you’re using fresh trout, though.
Like any white fish, leftovers can be used in a plethora of ways. Add them to tortillas with some rice and beans to make a burrito, or make them into fish tacos. You can also add it to any salad.
Yes, you can! The only change you’d make is when you grill it, make sure the fish is skin side down.
More grilled fish recipes to try
- Grilled tilapia– Flaky, mild-tasting, and perfect for those who want something super mild.
- Grilled Mahi Mahi– My family’s favorite seafood to grill.
- Grilled haddock– Easy to find and the fish always flakes beautifully.
Rainbow Trout Recipe
- Pat dry the trout before seasoning it with the salt and pepper. Rub the lemon juice all over each fillet.
- Add the oil to a non-stick pan over medium heat. Place the trout fillets flesh side down onto the pan, pressing lightly so that it sears. Sear for 3-4 minutes, until crispy and golden. Flip and cook for a further two minutes. Add the butter, garlic, and a pinch of fresh parsley, and stir around each fillet.
- Remove from heat, drizzle with extra butter and sprinkle with more parsley.
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